Minutes September 2016



Minutes of last meeting were reviewed. It was agreed that they were accurate but Colin asked that they might be amended to include his apologies.  He was not able to attend the last meeting but had given his apologies to the Practice This was not recorded in the minutes.


Matters arising from the last minutes

As all matters arising were included in other agenda items it was agreed that they would be discussed later in the meeting.


Feedback regarding the new MSK SIMS service

Dorothy asked whether the Practice had received any informal feedback about the new service which is no longer open to self-referral. She shared her own experiences which had involved quite a long timescale before treatment was finally agreed.  Dr Gray said she had not received sufficient informal feedback to comment and Dorothy’s experiences were not shared by other members of the group who had used the service.


Feedback about Community Integrated Teams

The group wondered how this was working out for patients in the Practice. Dorothy had attended some events with Altogether Sunderland and said she was unable to get any clear evidence of benefit.  Dr Gray explained that the new way of delivering care had not yet been up and running for 12 months.  Although data was being collected it would not be available or useful for some time.  She said that there were certainly individual cases where she felt patients had received great benefit and that the Practice had now seen a large number of patients in the 3% CITcohort and arranged care planning but as yet the Practice had not received any formal feedback from the Alliance about outcomes for this group of patients.


Big screen TV

Several members of the group expressed their ongoing dissatisfaction with clarity and legibility of the information displayed on the Jayex screen. Dr Gray said that she had also had a number of comments from patients particularly about the music during one item .This has also been a source of background irritation for staff working on reception.  Dr Gray said that she was led to believe that the Practice now had very limited editorial control over the information displayed on the Jayex as the CCG were now only allowing the Practice one page to display their own messages.  Dr Gray said that since the last meeting 2 members of reception staff received an hour and a half of training each over the telephone to allow them to update and adjust information on the screen but that was not now particularly useful.  Dr Gray did write to the CCG following the last meeting however had not received a reply.  Dr Gray said that she was aware that the issue had also been brought up by other Practice Managers in the locality Practice Managers meeting.  The group asked Dr Gray if she would once again write to the CCG on their behalf expressing the concerns that had been raised both by patients and staff and ask that Dorothy Elliott (chairperson) be copied into the response.


Electronic Prescribing

Dr Gray reported that the Practice was now actively involved with electronic prescribing and had noted that this did have a number of benefits for both prescribing staff and patients. Colin raised concerns about notification of overdue medication reviews as previously this had been highlighted on the back of the prescription.  Dr Gray said there was a facility with electronic prescribing to send both the pharmacy and the patient messages to ask them to make an appointment for medication review.  The Practice did have a policy of reducing the volume of medication made available to patients until they came in if they were concerned about prescribing safety but this was managed on an individual basis depending on the patient and the medication being prescribed.



Dr Gray reported that the surgery is now using a new telephone system called Babblevoice which has allowed the Practice to process multiple calls at the same time. She stated that there had been some teething problems and patients had complained about being held in a queue for a lengthy time. The Practice was working to improve this situation by adjusting the settings on the system to redirect calls to the correct lines.  Patients have also complained about the message voice had a Scottish accent however this is the default option on the system as this is a less mechanical voice.  Although the Practice can record their own message there was a monthly charge for this and the Practice felt this was not good value for money .The patients present at the meeting gave positive feedback about their experience with the new telephone system.  The Practice is continuing to monitor any problems arising which we hope can be mitigated by setting the telephone system in the correct way.


New members

The group discussed the ongoing recruitment of new members to join the Patient Participation Group. Although we had a good core attendance there were a number of patients who were initially involved who had not been along for some time and Dr Gray pointed out that the regular attendees were not necessarily representative of the entire Practice population.  Several group members made the point that once people had missed a number of meetings it can feel embarrassing or difficult to reattend and suggested we email other existing members welcoming suggestions to make attendance easier eg time of meetings, and to welcome them back to the next meeting once this was agreed.  We also discussed the possibility of a PPG coffee morning which could be held in the surgery possibly on a Saturday morning where people would have the opportunity to drop in and the group could promote the work done by the PPG.


Any Other Business

Dorothy had received a letter from Altogether Sunderland stating that they were looking to actively recruit patients to promote Altogether Sunderland and anybody who was interested should contact Mike Lowthian on 0191 5148322 and these details were distributed to the group and Dr Gray agreed she would email them out to the other members of the Patient Participation Group.


Date of next meeting

22 November 6pm

Comments are closed.